In its most recent service plan, the ministry of aboriginal relations and reconciliation committed the government to improving "First Nations' capacity to participate in government engagements." But aboriginals surveyed by the New Relationship Trust don't seem to place as much importance on building that capacity when compared with other priorities. Asked to rank the importance of the trust's four objectives, First Nations peoples put enhancing the economic status of their communities at the top - along with improving cultural, educational, health care, linguistic and professional development services. The improvement of land and resource management was "ranked as the next most critical, nd governance issues ranked last." Although, in fairness, the trust reported "respondents identified all four of the trust Objectives as being important."
March 3, 2008